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Tina, Lawyer
Category: Consumer Protection Law
Satisfied Customers: 33166
Experience:  17 years legal experience including consumer protection law.
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I had some water damage occur in my condo when I was moving

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I had some water damage occur in my condo when I was moving out, and water ended up causing damage in my neighbors garage. I offered to pay to fix the damage, but she chose to have her insurance company do the repairs. As an act of goodwill, I paid her $500 deductible. Now her insurance company is suing me for $4100 in repairs. Should I hire an attorney to fight this lawsuit, hire a mediator to make a settlement, get a settlement myself, or just pay the $4100 in installments? Any advice is appreciated!

Hello and welcome.

My name is XXXXX XXXXX my goal is to provide you with excellent service today. I am sorry to hear of your difficult situation. Before I can give you an accurate answer to your question, please provide the following additional information:

On what grounds might you oppose the allegations in the suit? Is there a question as to who is at fault?

I look forward to assisting you as soon as I have received this information. Thank you.

Customer: replied 3 years ago.
I really have no way of fighting the allegations. I admitted fault to the neighbor and paid her insurance company the $500 directly. As we were moving out, we unhooked the refrigerator water line and failed to tighten the faucet all the way. A slow drip occurred for about 18 hours, causing the damage. The lawsuit is claiming General Negligence, which I guess seems accurate. I don't have $4100 to spend though, so I was hoping to at least make a deal.
Hello again, Tim, and thank you for clarifying the situation for me.

Yes, it does sound as though fault is clear, so there would not typically be grounds to prevent the insurer from obtaining a judgment against you.

I would normally contact their attorneys and make a settlement offer. It will cost them something to obtain a judgment and collect on the judgment, so they may be willing to settle for somewhere in the neighborhood of $3,000.

If they do not immediately accept the offer and agree in writing to dismiss the suit, you will need to file an answer in the suit just so they do not obtain a default judgment against you.

If you allow them to obtain a default, it could include their attorney's fees and other costs if they have requested that relief.

So if they do not settle promptly, you may wish to retain an attorney to file the answer, just so you have more leverage to negotiate a settlement. Otherwise, you will lose your leverage since they will be entitled to a default judgment.

I hope this helps clarify the situation for you. Please remember to rate my service once you have all the information you need so I will be compensated for my time from the deposit you posted with this website. If you have any other questions, please ask me – I’ll be happy to respond. Thank you!


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